This story is heartbreaking, when I saw the love in the face of his 4 year old daughter shown to her father with his new face I got quite emotional, as I always do when children are involved, this story is both heart warming and yet still utterly tragic and heartbreaking, he still has no eyes, he will never see his child grow up.
He was painting a church, a good looking young man and an electric shock fron nearby power cables burnt his face off. I immediately agonized over this, could God not have intervened? sent an angel? just for that fleeting moment to avert contact with the electrical cables? why? Is this mans suffering and pain and others like him worth my happiness? the preservation of free will and moral autonomy?
Then in my agony I remembered Gen 6, and Gods anguish for man made suffering has to
also include an anguish even more so
when that misfortune is not malicously man made but accidental. So in the sense of God saving this man from touching live cables He did not intervene. Yet I do believe God and His power = His angels are
intervening in this world at a level just below any threshold of proof
as to not effect free will and moral autonomy.
I believe angels do not so much avert tradgedy but vist unaware to the bereaved, in our grief and in moments of personal crisis in our lives, without doubt if we cry out for God in those moments. Infact I know this to be the case as it happened to me as I cried out for the Holy Spirit in such a moment. Yet if I walk in front of a train would that same angel intervene to save me in that literalist way? I don't think so, but I feel confident if my loved ones were grieving beyond what they could cope than an angel would be with them, unknown to them, strengthening them.
I remember reading with interest about how at his lowest moment, one of the Lebanon hostages held by Hezbollah, fell to his knees, despite being an agnostic, and cried out to God, in that moment of personal crisis he recounts a powerful spiritual experience where he says he was immediately "strengthened", but not just in some self hypnotic pychological sense but almost physiological as well. When he said thiss I knew exactly what he was talking about and I knew he was visited by an angel, at that moment of personal dispair, because the same happened to me, because when I was visited the angel immediately stregthened me by doing something with my solar plexis which immediately
affected/changed my emotional disposition. Just as Gerry Mcarthay describes - http://www.enlighten...ing-freedom.asp
As weeks turned into months, the unremitting darkness, cramped isolation, and deepening cycles of fear and despair began to take their toll. One night, desperately teetering on the verge of a total breakdown, he was suddenly overwhelmed by a profound spiritual presence. The utterly life-affirming grace of this experience infused him with a deep confidence that he could and would survive his hellish ordeal.
So going back to the man who lost his face and is now blind, I saw Gods intervention in the incredible strength and love this family have, that I more than admire, but could not imagine emulating in this mans circumstance, (unless God intervened in a way that did NOT effect free will and moral autonomy), i.e in a corporatly OBSERVABLE way, and changed my emotional disposition so I could act with the strength displayed by this man and his 4 year old daughter.
When I watched this story on TV what struck me is when the man said of his 4 year old daughter "none of this has phased her at all, she loved me as I was and now", and when she saw his new face she said 'daddy you are so handsome', but I could see the little girl looking through his dark glasses to see if her daddy had his eyes back. So sad. Yet he joked about the hospital lasagne, he seemed ok, maybe happy, and in all of that I recognised Gods intervention, I believe you see the hints of intervention in these such cases..
In the preface to his book An Evil Cradling, Brian Keenan writes that at the heart of their shared ordeal there lay an implicit paradox: that “in the most inhuman of circumstances men grow and deepen in humanity.” Both An Evil Cradling and Some Other Rainbow, John McCarthy's own candid account, are deeply moving testaments to the power of the human spirit to prevail in the darkest of dark nights.
Chained alongside each other by their wrists and feet in the confines of a squalid subterranean cell—not knowing why they were being held or if they would ever be released—McCarthy and Keenan endured a grinding monotony and unimaginable degradation. “We both instinctively knew never to share weakness until you understood it,” writes Brian Keenan. “'Share only strength' was an unspoken motto between us.” Together they fought for their dignity in the face of their erratic fundamentalist captors, mostly young men whose behavior could morph without warning from disarming expressions of warmth to gratuitous acts of violence.